Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger (2014) review
Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger
Director: Joe Berlinger
Year Released: 2014
Berlinger, who co-directed the powerful Brother's Keeper and Paradise Lost documentaries (with Bruce Sinofsky), tries to tackle the complex and mysterious case of James "Whitey" Bulger, the Boston native who had a perverse relationship with the FBI (shielded by former Boston office Special Agent-In-Charge John Connolly ... among many, many others) and was able to run amok in the city, engaging in the sale of narcotics, money laundering and murder (to name but a few of his 'digressions') and paying off people he saw fit. Berlinger is able to get some choice interviews with individuals Bulger wronged in some fashion, though the Truth of the Matter is too evasive even for him and his film: so much of the Bulger Affair is the result of the Federal Government covering their own rears and Bulger spinning his tales that as the documentary unfolds, more and more becomes downright enigmatic and probably unanswerable. Was Bulger an informant? Did the FBI destroy the files? The Facts in the case - of too many high-level people covering their tracks - get muddled in the telling (which isn't entirely the director's fault): while Whitey should be behind bars (and he is), as should Connolly (he is as well), the most vital question remains: who else should join them?